Are you planning to travel to an English-speaking country and need a visa?
The consulate usually requests a certified translation of your pay slip or personal documents (such as marriage / civil partnership certificate).
Well, did you know that your pay slip might be available in English already? DATEV, the cooperative that makes the software most payroll accountants use, provides the option to export the pay slip in English.
This feature isn’t available in all tools. You should ask your company’s payroll accountant (Lohnbuchhalter) to print you an English pay slip.
Also, if your child was born in Germany, you can request a multilingual birth certificate from the registry office (Standesamt). This service may also be available for other civil records, such as marriage certificates.
Multilingual documents can save you serious money. Many forms are hard to translate due to formatting and specialized abbreviations, so the translation won’t be cheap. So before you hire a translator, find out if there are foreign-language versions of the papers requested by the embassy.
Special tip for ERASMUS students
Are you going for an exchange semester? First ask your university, if they have any translated versions of your certificates. This might take some research.
Try to get a Word file. With a pre-existing translation of your certificates, you can ask a certified translator if they’re willing to give you a discount, because the right template will save them a lot of time.
Are your friends going abroad too? Team up with fellow students to get a group discount for translating university papers. After all, the translator will only have to recreate the formatting once, and the content changes very little.